Welcome to Thailand, ‘The Land of Smiles’ and the country of wisdom and spiritualism. Thailand is a country that has a mystical charm around it, making it one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Blessed with a deep rooted natural beauty, Thailand is a country gifted with some of the most incredible and magnificent tourist attractions. From archaeological and historical wonders to verdant valleys, lush forests and pristine beaches, Thailand is a place that has something to offer to everyone. A wonderful mix of traditions, culture, heritage and world class architecture and modernization, a visit to Thailand is an exfoliation of the senses. Either drench in the serenity of the picturesque wilderness, bask in the tranquility of the splendid beaches, visit the gargantuan temples and monasteries or simply have a rocking time in the exuberant nightlife of Bangkok and Pattaya, visiting Thailand is a spiritual and enlightening experience that will always remain etched in your memory.
Size and Population of Thailand
Located at the center of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia, Thailand is the 51st largest country in the world with an approximate area of 198,000 square miles. Thailand is home to 64 million people of whom 75% are ethnic Thais and 14% of Chinese origin. The rest of the population comprises of Ethnic Malays, as well as various minority groups such as Khmers and Mons. Buddhism is the official religion of Thailand with almost 95% of the population as followers.
Climate of Thailand
A large part of Thailand witnesses tropical wet and dry climate. The south and the eastern Thailand enjoy a tropical monsoon climate. The average temperatures range between 100°F (38 °C) to 66°F (19°C). The country receives heavy rainfall, especially during the monsoon season from May to July.
Things to Do in Thailand
Thailand is a magnificent place that does not offer any dull moment to a tourist. From national parks and theme parks, adventure sports, historical sights to vivid Buddhist festivals and wild nightclubs, Thailand has everything that will keep a tourist busy. Here is a list of activities and places that should not be missed when in Thailand.
Lose Yourself in the Pristine Beaches – Thailand is famous for some of the most incredibly beautiful beaches in the world. Every year, Thailand attracts millions of tourists to enjoy in the tropical sun and soft sand. Here are some of the most famous beaches in Thailand –
• Patong Beach, Phuket. Patong Beach is famous for its exuberant crowds, warm waters, white sand and jubilant nightlife and dining options.
• Railey Beach, Krabi. Railey Beach is situated amidst the rocky cliffs, lush mountains and clear blue waters and resembles an artist’s rendition on canvas.
• Kata Beach, Phuket. The picturesque surroundings, palm groves, gentle breeze and crystal clear waters make Kata Beach a perfect recluse for nature lovers.
• Lamai Beach, Samui. Barbeque and water sports facilities make this beach perfect for both nature lovers and adventure sports junkies.
Other famous beaches in Thailand include Haad Rin, Koh Pha Ngan; White Sand Beach, Koh Chang; Hua Hin Beach, Hua Hin and Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley.
Adventure Sports and Outdoor Activities
Whether it is kite surfing, biking or hot-air ballooning; Thailand is well equipped to quench the thirst for adventure of every adventure sports lover. The climatic and geographical conditions make Thailand a perfect place for adventure sports whether they are water sports, land activities or air sports. From white river rafting, kayaking, cliff diving, snorkeling to cave explorations, trekking, rock climbing, paragliding and helicopter tours, you name the adrenaline pumping activity and you will find it in Thailand.
Apart from the extreme sports, Thailand has an unspoilt natural beauty around it which makes it a haven for wildlife lovers. With hundreds of species of birds and wild animals spread over the country, Thailand is a perfect place to watch wild animals in their natural habitat. Nature lovers can have an extremely gratifying time by indulging in outdoor activities such as horse riding, cycling, mountain biking, mountaineering or simply exploring the wilderness and different tribes.
A Spiritual Retreat
Thailand has always remained an epitome of spiritualism and healing. The breathtaking ancient sites and ruins, mystical and tranquil monasteries and temples and the mysterious tribal rituals and Buddhist traditions have established Thailand as the unofficial center of learning and spiritualism in the world. The most famous sacred sites in Thailand include –
• Temple of Dawn
• Shell Pond Temple
• Prapathom Pagoda
• Bats Cave Temple
• Wild Tiger Temple
• Pho Temple
• Holy City Temple
• Sireh Temple
• Buddha Cave
• Chalong Temple
• Chiang Dao Cave
• Suthep Mountain Temple
An Archaeological and Historical Wonder
Thailand’s innumerable historical sites are an evidence of the country’s rich and vivid history and culture. The country offers excellent opportunity to explorers and history buffs to marvel the historical masterpieces. The world famous historical sites in Thailand include –
• The Temple of Emerald Buddha
• Bridge over the River Kwai
• The Royal Palace / Wat Mahathat
• The Temple of Reclining Buddha
• Wang Chang Ayutthaya Lae Phaniat
• The ruins of Chiang Saen
• Sukhothai Historical Park
• Ban Prasat Archaeological Site
Thailand is considered one of the most exciting places to shop in whole of Southeast Asia. From glittering shopping malls and huge global retail chains to illuminated independent vendors, small shops and street bazaars, shopping in Thailand is a unique experience. When in Thailand, you can shop for exclusive silk handicrafts, gems, furniture, clothes, toys and other artifacts. The most renowned shopping destinations in Thailand include –
• Chatuchak Weekend Market
• Pantip Plaza
• River City Shopping Complex
• Central World
• Siam Paragon
• Suan Lum Night Bazaar
• China Town, Yaowarat
A Foodie’s Delight
Thai people have a special love for food and no matter where you are in Thailand, you will never have to worry about quality food. The cities and outskirts have multitude of eating options ranging from street vendors, local eateries to ethnic and gourmet international food chains. Apart from Thai, if it is the Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Italian or Mediterranean food that you crave for, you will find every street bustling with restaurants and pubs to keep your taste buds tantalizing.
Thailand is dubbed as ‘The Amsterdam of the East’ owing to its exuberant and pulsating nightlife scene. The country has several outstanding nightclubs, taverns and clubs that offer a mixture of ethnicity, exoticism and sheer excitement. As wrongly portrayed in the movies, there is more to Thailand than sleazy bars and cheap nightclubs. The lively bars, thumping music and an energetic crowd will surely keep your spirits soaring.
Truly an enthralling tourist destination, there is nothing that you can not do in Thailand. With various easy and affordable accommodation options available, traveling in Thailand is one of the best experiences one can have in their lifetime.
Thailand, some basics
Siam Property 2013